Parenthood (PH): How does yoga prepare one for labour?

Emma: Yoga helps you prepare for labour in many ways;

  • You are more likely to have a shorter and more manageable birth because you have different tools to tap into, like breathing techniques to help you relax and stay present.
  • You often need less medical interventions and need for pain relief medication during labour when you have been exercising and practicing different yoga and Pilates techniques.
  • When practicing good breathing techniques you can help your body to relax. When the body is more relaxed it holds less tension, and therefore less pain.
  • You are more in touch with your body and your intuition, which can help you know what your body needs and is asking for. This is important during labour to assist the natural process.
  • Yoga helps to Improve flexibility, which can allow you to get into different birthing positions, which are more beneficial than lying on your back.

 

Parenthood (PH): What are the few yoga techniques or poses that can help pregnant women prepare for labour?

Emma: All these exercises can be done during labour and will help you stay relaxed and relieve pain:

 

Breathing

Why it’s great:                  

This is one of the best tools to understand to help you during labour. Knowing the different breathing techniques can help you to relax more during labour

When to do:                      

All trimesters

How many sets:               

Start focused breathing. This can be done as often as you like.

Remarks:                            

You can be seated for comfort. Place one hand on your chest, one hand on your belly, below the belly button. Notice as you inhale if your chest rises and moves more than your belly. Try to encourage inhaling into the belly (in a relaxed manner/not forcing). Notice as you exhale the belly falls and as you inhale it rises. Focusing on the belly breathing helps you to relax, as apposed to the chest breathing.

Cat Stretch

Why it’s great:                  

This is a great exercise to do to help relieve back pain and also keep the ligaments of the uterus aligned.  

When to do:                      

All trimesters

How many sets:               

Repeat 8-10 times every day

Remarks:                            

Start on the hands and knees. Place your hands under shoulders and knees under your hips. Keeping your spine in neutral Inhale to prepare, exhale to round the spine and hug your baby. Inhale to come back to neutral.

               

Childs pose

Why it’s great:                  

This is a great exercise to do to also help relieve back pain. IT also keeps you flexible and mobile and is a great stretch for the pelvic floor.

When to do:                      

All trimesters

How many sets:               

Hold a child's pose every day for 30 secs or as long as you feel comfortable.

Remarks:                            

Start on the hands and knees. Open your knees a little wider than hips. Sit back on your feet, or as close to the feet with your bottom as you can. Hold the pose and focus on your breathing as you stretch.

 

Back and hamstring stretch

Why it’s great:                   

This is a great exercise to do to help relieve back pain, give more space for the baby, stretch your hamstrings and shoulders and keep the ligaments aligned in the uterus.

When to do:                      

All trimesters

How many sets:               

Hold for approx. 10 seconds come up and do it again. Try this every day if you do not feel back pain while doing the exercise.

Remarks:                            

Start facing the wall. Place your hands on the wall approximately shoulder level. Bend forward from the hips until your legs and upper body form a 90-degree angle.Keeping a flat back if possible and straight or slightly bent knees.  Allow your head to relax and stay level with your arms as you face the floor. Press your hands into the wall as you lean back from your hips until you eel a stretch in your back and the back of your legs.Try not to collapse the chest completely. Keep your core engaged to support the belly and back.

Hip Circles

Why it’s great:                 

This is a great exercise to do to help relieve back pain and to keep the body mobile.

When to do:                     

All trimesters

How many sets:               

Repeat 8-10 times each direction every day

Remarks:                           

Start standing. Place your legs approx shoulder distance apart. Slightly bend the knees. Hands on the hips. Circle the hips one way, but tucking the pelvis under, then to the side, back and other side. Then reverse.


 

PRENATAL CORE FIT CLUB

Monthly Membership coupon code:

PARENTHOODMonthly

Annual Membership coupon code: 

PARENTHOODAnnual

 

About Emma Jory

Emma is an internationally certified Pilates, Yoga, Barre and Fitness Instructor, as well as Health Coach. She specialises in Women’s Health, specifically pre and post natal exercise. She has been teaching since 2003, and it's her passion to help clients love their body and make exercise part of their life, keeping them pain-free and feeling great. She loves supporting women through their Pre & Post Natal journey and has incredible results healing Diastasis Recti, assisting women to improve pelvic floor health and educating them around an easier and speedier birth.

Emma founded and operated a successful Pilates studio in Sydney Australia, which she sold in 2014 to move to Malaysia with her husband. Her studio was an international educational hub, regularly hosting Pilates Teacher Training courses and was the first to offer Barre in Australia. During this time Emma
travelled throughout Australia and Asia as a Teacher Trainer, training new instructors in Barre. She has been featured in various magazines and has trained many celebrities. Her knowledge is sought after by many who have experienced the positive changes through her teachings. She is now happy to be helping more people experience the benefits of Pilates through her online studio www.epilatesonline.com. Emma believes everyone should have access to an education about their body, to assist in alleviating pain, improving posture & confidence, gaining better life balance and improving overall fitness and wellbeing. Also be sure to follow Emma on Instagram and Facebook, and say hi! She loves connecting. 

Facebook: epilatesonline

Instagram: epilatesonline